Yesterday, at the grocery store, I had a coupon for a free item that the self-checkout wouldn’t accept. I couldn’t track down a store employee to override the system for me, so I finished my checkout and took my coupon to the customer service counter.
Of course, because the service is so great at this particular store, the clerk at the counter walked away just as I showed up, apparently for her 15 minute break. So I waited a few minutes. Bought myself a cup of coffee and continued to wait. I didn’t have anywhere to be, and it was pouring.
Someone came over and said that the clerk would be back in five minutes.
I kept waiting.
Finally, one of the store managers took pity on me and asked me what I needed. I told him and he took the money from the register, and I left the store with my money.
How much money?
Was it really worth it to me to wait for that money? Well, to be honest, yes. It was an item I wouldn’t have purchased if I had to pay for it (it was one of those “Try our new product promos, and hey, if it’s free, I’ll try it). Sure, it wasn’t a whole lot of money, but those things definitely start to add up after a while.
(Admittedly, my savings was reduced by buying a cup of coffee, but as my coffee maker is broken, it was probably something I would have done anyway.)
Maybe my actions would have been different if I had been in a hurry, but it was a lazy, rainy morning, so waiting for a few bucks seemed like the right thing to do. What would you have done?
Megan is a 30-something government employee in the Washington, DC area. She got interested in Personal Finance when she got out of college and realized that her paycheck wasn’t going to go as far as she had hoped. Since starting this blog, she has managed to buy a house and make a solid start on her retirement goals, and hopes to help others do the same. Here is her story:
In 2007, I was a gainfully employed 20-something with no debt but not a lot of knowledge about personal finance. It was a co-worker’s comment about Roth IRAs that sent me to the internet, searching for information. It was then that I realized that I really didn’t know a whole lot about personal finance and that my current financial situation was due a lot to inherent frugal tendencies, generous family members, a fear of debt, and good luck. While that was working for me, clearly I needed a better plan.
While I had no debt, I was also pretty much living paycheck to paycheck and not worrying about going over budget (I say this as if I had a real budget) because I had an emergency fund set aside to cover any overages.
Except that’s not what an emergency fund is for.
So I did a lot of research, read a lot of blogs, and decided that I needed a plan. I needed to budget. I needed to know what I was spending my money on. I needed to prepare for the future.
I decided to create a blog not only to make myself accountable to others but also to share the knowledge that I gained along the way. I’ve learned so much from my fellow bloggers, and I hope that my readers can find something useful in what I have to share as well.